(There isn’t really a sensible picture to go with this post, so here is a beautiful one from wikicommon’s featured images – link is this one)
One of the most useful habits I’ve got into in the last few years is this.
When someone starts a sentence with “I shouldn’t tell you this, but-“, I stop them.
That’s pretty much the whole of it, but it’s such a useful little thing, I suddenly found I had fewer inconvenient secrets clattering around in my brain.
It turns out, when I look back over the times that people shouldn’t have told me X, that X has pretty much never been useful to me. It’s never made me happier, healthier, or richer. All it’s done, is that it’s meant that there is a least one person in the world who when I meet, I have to remember a fact, and then remember that I’m not to mention the fact and after going though that process I can then actually start thinking thoughts that are, you know, useful. Really when someone is saying ‘I shouldn’t tell you this, but -” they are saying ‘I’m going to make life harder for you, while at the same time showing that I am fully aware that I am a poor friend’.
So yes, if I had to pick one habit that’s made my life better over the last few years it’s that one. If you want information, go to Wikipedia.
EDIT – two edits I need to make here, first of which is to clarify – this only happens about three times a year (I looks kind of ‘high school’ on first reading) and secondly it was pointed out to me that I only do this for social or personal matters – I’m all ears for industry gossip – I’ll have to change that…